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Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal

| 1 May 2013 | Reply

Label: RCA
Released 2013
Reviewed by Matt Karpe

Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal CD

Three years since their last offering, UK metallers Bring Me The Horizon return with Sempiternal.

Loved by many and hated by everyone else, there is no happy medium with this band. Their style mixes deathcore, metalcore, hardcore, punk and electronic, sounding like nothing else around.

2008’s Suicide Season was a brilliant breakthrough release, and more of the same followed in 2010 with There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret, as BMTH’s popularity grew to new heights.

Sempiternal takes a slightly different direction in places, but there are still tracks that are instantly recognisable and in the same tradition as their back catalogue.

Opener Can You Feel My Heart is more Dubstep than metal, the calm before the storm, if you will. It’s a good start, but not quite a great one.

Then follows The House of Wolves and Empire – typical BMTH in every way. Fast, ferocious, ear splitting- everything that made the band the success they are today. Oli Sykes’ vocals have the same familiar snarl and venom that made him every teenager’s parent’s worst nightmare.

It’s the next two tracks that are probably the most intriguing on the album. Sleepwalking and Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake tread new waters, maybe softer waters. The tracks are more melodic than anything BMTH have written before, Sykes’ vocals are less strained and chaotic, and in places clean and tuneful. The Nu-Metal feel could divide hardcore fans further down the line.

The first single to be released off the album Shadow Moses returns to classic BMTH, with crunching riffs, rasping gang vocals and Sykes’ screaming, a song that could easily have fitted somewhere in the middle of Suicide Season.

There Is A Hell… is instantly brought to mind on And The Snakes Start to Sing, a soft slow mooder, resembling the atmospherics of Blessed With A Curse, yet not containing the ballad like lyrics from the latter song. Crooked Young has such a similar intro to It Never Ends that you could be forgiven for checking your IPod to see which song you are actually listening to.

The standout track is saved for last. Hospital For Souls is a musical masterpiece that sucks the life out of your lungs and leaves you completely breathless. The introduction finds Sykes in a prophetic mood, thinking back to friends he made, the music he made, but to reinvent himself, he had to leave that all behind and start again. The verses build up to a blistering chorus where Sykes demands the listener to watch him burn, later asking us to hold him close and not let go.

It’s a stunning end to a stunning album, one which contains some ingredients that have been used before. However it’s the new direction, the new maturity and the precision song writing that makes Sempiternal such a joy to behold.

The word sempiternal means everlasting, and based on this album, Bring Me The Horizon might just be a band that goes on and on, from strength to strength.

Whether they can produce a better record that this in the future remains to be seen, because Sempiternal could be the bands very own White Pony, their very own Iowa, maybe even their very own Reign In Blood, and yes, it is that damn good.


Category: CD Reviews

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